giving index

I flew down to Virginia this past weekend to surprise my folks.  It was my dad’s birthday, and I wanted to do something special for him.  As it turned out, he did something special for me.

Mom and Dad were surprised and very happy to see me, but also let me know that Saturday morning they were committed to going to the local church.  You see, my dad still plays Santa – yep, red suit, beard, ho ho ho and all.  And he had to go to the church so kids could get their picture taken with Santa for free.

Of course I agreed to go with them, and while my Mom served pancake breakfasts to churchgoers and those in need,  I watched dozens of kids crawl up into (my) Father Christmas’s lap at the church and tell him what they wanted to find under their trees.  I don’t know what he said to each of them, but without exception they got off his lap with a huge smile.

This blog generally focuses on what we do with our money – how to invest it and, hopefully, maximize it. And we focus a lot on indexes because that’s what most ETFs seek to track. But as we come into this holiday season, might I suggest a different index?  One that measures worth not as what we get, but as what we give.  And if that is our index, I daresay that my father is a very wealthy man indeed.

So yes, in Virginia there is a Santa Claus and “he exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give your life its highest beauty and joy.”